An auto breakdown can occur at any time on Texas roads. Stranded motorists typically can get assistance fairly quickly when their vehicles fail in and around the Houston metro area, but on some long stretches of Texas highways, signs of civilization are miles apart.

That’s why it’s a good idea for Texas residents to remember that they have a number to call that is imprinted on the back of their driver’s licenses if they need nonemergency assistance.

All drivers on Texas roads can call the toll-free number (800) 525-5555. Operators at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Austin answer the hotline calls and relay the pertinent information to the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of the caller.

Dispatched units then arrive on the scene to assess the problem and assist the distressed motorists.

Of course, drivers in need of emergency assistance should still call 911. But because 911 is reserved for true emergencies, this line is a good alternative source of help without taxing emergency services for minor roadside assistance issues.

It should be noted that should the motorist require a tow or need a tank of gas, they will still have to pony up the payment for these services and resources. But it does allow drivers to seek help from professionals and not open themselves up to danger from dicey strangers who stop to “help.”

Below are some scenarios for when calling the hotline could be helpful to motorists:

  • The road conditions are particularly hazardous
  • They spotted an impaired driver on the road
  • There’s debris on the highway
  • They are stranded with a breakdown
  • They observed suspicious activity at roadside rest areas

Remember, too, that a broken-down vehicle in the road can lead to catastrophic accidents if other vehicles aren’t able to stop and avoid a collision.

If you were injured in a collision due to a stopped or abandoned vehicle on the highway, you may be able to seek damages from the liable parties.